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Registered
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116 Posts
For a new person to the internet...yahoo webhosting. I believe it is 120 a year you get your domain name, free download of site builder, which is very easy to use, a great traking tool that is eeasy to understand, and you are automaticly submitted to major search engines. Its tedious work, but it can be done. I started off with that and it helped me.
 

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Web Dude
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153 Posts
@ Karrunt

Compare the .CSS files of an Artisteer template to a hand built one. I have never seen Artisteer produce code that validates, and the style sheets are about a trillion sizes bigger. Of course a tool like this is going to make a mess of code compared to hand written stuff. Bigger messier files = slower load times and more difficulty for SEO

@ Home Elements

That seems a little steep for a year of hosting. Usually it's around $60 bucks, often times less.
 

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Non-conformist
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1,581 Posts
Yeah, 1&1 has a horrible reputation. They were especially known for holding customers hostage by not releasing domain names or giving access to change name servers through a control panel (which just means "you're stuck with lousy service because they prevent you from being able to go somewhere else" in less technical terms).

I've not seen the bloated code J was referring to on Artisteer, but I've seen it enough that I don't doubt it. The WYSIWYG editors and site builders are notorious for this. They'll generate the equivelent of a whole page of code for what could be done in a couple sentences. Sometimes I wondered if they just did it to make users think it was so complicated that they could never learn to write the code manually. Even Dreamweaver, the industry standard, used to write horribly bloated code, but it's gotten a lot better in recent versions. DW CS3 is the first version I was almost completely happy with.

As for hosting prices, 6-7 bucks a month equals $72 to $84 a year, and you have a LOT of choices in that range. Can you go cheaper? Sure, and some of the cheaper ones might even be good. But I've been in this biz for over 10 years (current company started in early 2002), and I'm VERY skeptical of most hosting companies. The proliferation of low price hosting brought an onslaught of problems and risks. Having been trained as a network admin, I know enough to not take chances with hosting.

The lower you drop the price, the more something has to give, usually security. I've seen some pathetic security with hosting companies. This leads to problems such as sites getting defaced (hackers replacing web pages with something else, usually trash and profanity), objectionable material placed on the same server as other sites (guilt by association can get you blacklisted, branded as a spammer so your emails are blocked by filtering software, and many other bad side effects), and I even dealt with one case where several sites had pages added by hackers that the site owners never knew about. The latter was a strategy used to drive traffic to an offshore web site using all the sites they hijcked as relays.

In another case, illegal material was placed on the servers without the hosting company knowing about it (poor security and lack of monitoring). Unfortunately for them, the FBI did know about it and shut them down leaving all their customers hanging with no available backups.

Maybe you think, "Well my site doesn't need security, my needs are not that complex." Hackers love you for that attitude. If they can use you as a relay, they can do anything they please and make it look like you're the guilty one. Did I scare you? I hope so. Don't shop the cheapest price on hosting. There are good hosting companies in the $6 to $7 a month range, and the damage a bad host can do to your business is not worth the risk just to save $30 or so a year.

One more word of advice on choosing a host, check their TOS carefully. Yeah, I know, it's boring reading material. But if they don't have strict, enforced policies about the kind of sites they allow, and email rules, then the riff raff of the Internet will certainly be taking advantage of it. Your site could "share a box" with a spammer. If that happens, your outgoing email will be blocked by most of the people you try to email.
 

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Smart phone? Scan me!
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2,137 Posts
Yes, I am in the Olathe Chamber. I am on the Chairmans Liaison Committee - in fact I will be at the meeting tomorrow (Wednesday).

Are you in the Olathe Chamber? We should meet up sometime....
sounds good. Always trying to network more ;) Oh and I used to be. I did some work for Char and Nancy Carr.
 

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Non-conformist
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1,581 Posts
Well done CBS, well done. Killer points.
Thanks, Justin. I suppose I should make clear that I have no connections to hosting. I make recommendations because I design web sites, but I stay clear of providing hosting. Web design and hosting packages should be avoided IMO—too much potential for problems, abuse, and holding customers hostage. It's not that all-in-one deals are automatically bad, but it does make you vulnerable, which is reason enough to avoid them.
 
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